Christmas in Portsmouth

Portsmouth in Christmas campaign banner showing Father Christmas
Shopping In Portsmouth /

Magical fun for all the family

The countdown for a magical Christmas began with our high street Christmas Lights Switch On parties in the city centre and Southsea. The line-up featured stars of panto along with a cast of local performers and Father Christmas making a special appearance and a snowflake finale.

For Christmas shopping visit the Portsmouth Christmas Market in Commercial Road for festive treats such as German sausages and glühwein. Pop by the We Create Market (9 & 10 Dec) in Cascades and Love Southsea Market (weekends in Dec) for glorious gift ideas from local makers and artists and discover our brilliant independent shops and eateries for something special.

New this year, discover a Victorian Christmas at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery.  Have a go at Victorian games and meet Father Christmas in his beautiful grotto. Enjoy festive skating at Portsmouth on Ice in Guildhall Square.  This real ice rink, set in a winter wonderland, guarantees skating whatever the weather.

Our programme

Christmas Lights Switch On Party 

The countdown for a magical Christmas in Portsmouth begins with a dazzling party. Hosted by Wave 105’s Mark Collins, the line-up features stars of panto, a cast of local performers and a special visit from Father Christmas.  As the excitement builds on stage, do a little Christmas shopping, and get ready for the spectacular finale.

City centre, Commercial Road

  • Thursday 16 November 5-7pm
  • Starring stars from the Kings Theatre’s Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan including Shaun Williamson, better known as “Barry” from Eastenders and TOWIE favourite James ‘Arg’ Argent. With Portsmouth Christmas Market.

Travel by Beryl Bikes! Get free unlock + 15 mins free when you finish at these bays 4 – 8 pm 🎄Station Street🎄Unicorn Road🎄Bishop Crispian Way🎄Church Road🎄Portsmouth Station

Southsea, Palmerston Road

  • Thursday 23 November 5-7pm
  • Starring stars from the New Theatre Royal’s Aladdin and Portsmouth FC favourites Alex Robertson and Christian Saydee. With Love Southsea Christmas Market

Cosham High Street – CANCELLED due to poor weather conditions 

  • Thursday 30 November 5-7pm
  • Starring stars from The Guildhall’s Rapunzel 

Portsmouth Christmas Market

  • Commercial Road, City Centre
  • 16 Nov – 30 Dec

For Christmas shopping visit the Portsmouth Christmas Market in Commercial Road for festive treats such as German sausages and glühwein, Christmas stockings and tree decorations.  Plus relax and chill in a selection of great local independent eateries around the city centre.  On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the market offers even more including fresh produce, gift ideas, clothing and seasonal products for a great Christmas.

Small Business Saturday Taster Market

  • Commercial Road, City Centre
  • 2 December

For one Saturday only, local makers and e-tailers will join the Portsmouth Christmas market with a range of goods either brand new or only available online.

Part of the national Small Business Saturday campaign, now in its 11th year, this small business “taster” market will take place alongside Portsmouth’s city centre Christmas market and provide an active physical opportunity for start-up businesses.

Come down to meet our small business owners, try their goods and shop local!

Find out more 

We Create Market

  • Cascades, City Centre
  • 9 & 10 December 10 am – 5pm

The We Create Market is back with a festive offering. Shop local and support markers, artists, crafters, and creators from the Portsmouth area as they showcase and sell a wide range of gifts and products.

The pop-up market will be in the old Dorothy Perkins shop in Cascades and transformed into a festive wonderland filled with locally crafted gifts and unique items. We Create Market doors open at 10 am and remain open until the shopping centre closes, giving you ample time to explore the offerings from around 50 stallholders and sellers.

“We Create Markets” was born out of a necessity for a spacious, safe, indoor venue that local creatives could afford during the challenging times of COVID-19. The market’s popularity among local artisans and shoppers alike has been overwhelming, and we are thrilled to continue this tradition.

Victorian Christmas

  • City Museum and Art Gallery
  • Weekends in Dec and school holidays till 6 Jan

Have a go at Victorian games and meet Father Christmas in his grotto.

To book call 023 9283 4779 (Tuesday to Sunday, 10am–4:30pm) 

For more information

Portsmouth on Ice

  • Guildhall Square
  • 25 Nov – 7 Jan

All weather ice skating on a real ice rink.

Find out more

Our 2023 Christmas Lights Switch On Parties are sponsored by HSDC 

Our Christmas programme is supported by:

Wave 105Kings Theatre, New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Trust, Portsmouth Creates and Love Southsea Market


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